Long-Distance Parenting: How to Stay in Your Child’s Life
Being separated from your children is never easy. Here are some tips on long-distance parenting, straight from the ParentTown community
Whether you’re far away from your brood because of professional or personal reasons, being separated from your children is never easy. theAsianparent Community user Jonathan del Pilar asked:
Straight from the theAsianparent Community community, here are some tips on how to maintain a good relationship with your child, in spite of the distance:
Communication is key
This is the most important thing you should keep in mind. Your kids want you in their life, and even though you can’t be with them physically, you can be there for them emotionally by listening to them and staying connected.
“My dad was working abroad too,” one user wrote anonymously. “Keep talking to them and so that when you come back you still know about their lives. Catch up whenever you’re together. Always tell them how much you love them.”
With technology, it’s easier to stay in touch, so you don’t have an excuse. Phil R. wrote: “A lot of kids aren’t too interested in a simple phone call anymore, and with apps like Skype and FaceTime available, can you blame them? You could try one of those for nightly conversations. Or you could get WhatsApp or Viber for quick and frequent interactions.”
Give them gifts
“Occasionally, you may give her gifts she'll love,” wrote Lucas S. “Kids are kids, and at their age they will appreciate them most.” The key word here is “occasionally”—you don’t want to spoil your kids. Remember that gifts are no substitute for your attention.
Click for more tips on long-distance parenting.
Remember important dates
Ella C. had a simple pointer: “Never forget her birthday.” Set alarms or keep a calendar so you won’t forget. For other special occasions like a graduation or a dance recital, make your presence felt by calling them up and congratulating them on a job well done. You could even send flowers!
Don’t lose heart
We understand that it’s painful to be away from your kids. Some parents have made the mistake of withdrawing from their kids’ lives instead of trying to make it work. But it is possible to maintain a good relationship with your kids, even with the distance.
Bianca M. wrote:“My dad left for the States when I was in pre-school. Since then, we've been keeping in touch through phone calls. And more recently, through Skype and social media. It wasn't easy, but we made it work. He'd come home once every 1-2 years and he was there for both my high school and college graduations. I'm happy to say we have a very close relationship until now that I'm 30 years old. I still miss him, though. He has a new family now but I'm proud that the distance never affected our bond. I think not many people can say that. So I still count myself blessed.”
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